America's Top Summer Activities 2009
From free bike rentals to great crab shacks and the hottest arts festivals, T+L’s ultimate guide to summertime fun across America.
A romantic castle in the hills of California ’s Napa Valley , Italian-style wines, and Robert Redford narrating Vivaldi’s Four Seasons , accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas: this can’t-miss concert happens July 21 at the Castello di Amorosa as part of the Festival del Sole.
Festival del Sole is, of course, just one of the countless celebrations that take place during the warm-weather months. And while the scores of music festivals are a true sign of the season, they’re not the only way to make the most of your summer.
If your tastes lean more toward an urban getaway, we have you covered too. The best way to explore an unfamiliar city is often on a bike. But sometimes figuring out the best local bike-rental method can be a trial.
The good news for travelers: a growing number of hotels are stocking bicycles for free use by guests, taking all the hassle out of arranging a two-wheeled adventure. In New York City , the Bowery Hotel has four Earth Cruisers ready for guests to ride at all hours. Down in Miami —in keeping with its party-all-night vibe—the Gansevoort South provides two Puma Stealth Visibility bikes that glow electric green in the dark. And in the Windy City, guests at the James Chicago can choose from a fleet of Paul Frank Beach Cruisers.
And there’s always the time-honored tradition of spending an afternoon at the ballpark, taking in America’s pastime. And visitors to the two newest major league stadiums might find themselves distracted from the action and paying attention to the food instead. At the New York Mets’ new home, Citi Field, three top Manhattan restaurateurs—Danny Meyer, Drew Nieporent, and David Pasternack—have set up shop and are going well beyond the traditional hot dog. Across town at the new Yankee Stadium, Mike’s Arthur Avenue Italian Deli and Lobel’s of New York serve up authentic Big Apple fare, while the premium seats provide access to a rotating crew of celebrity chefs.
Summertime also means the opening of seasonal seafood shacks. Strap on a bib at a waterfront fried-fish mecca—a place like the Crab Claw , in St. Michaels, MD . The home-style recipes here, like spiced Chesapeake blue crab and rockfish stuffed with lump crabmeat, are quintessential tastes of the season.
Whether you’re looking for action-packed activities or just easy ways to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, there’s an ideal summer itinerary for you.